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247 aboard South Korean destroyer test positive for COVID-19, report says

Monday July 19, 2021

 A total of 247 sailors aboard a South Korean destroyer off Somalia in East Africa have tested positive for the coronavirus, Yonhap news agency reported Monday, citing the nation’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, making it the worst-ever mass infection among service members.

An additional 179 members aboard the destroyer Munmu the Great tested positive after 68 were confirmed to have been infected as of Sunday, the JCS said. The unit first reported six COVID-19 cases last week and conducted virus tests on all of its members.

“Test results on all 301 crewmembers of the unit showed that 247 tested positive and 50 negative. The samples of four individuals were undecipherable,” the South Korean military was quoted as saying in a statement.

None of the personnel had been vaccinated as they left South Korea before the country started its inoculation campaign.

Some of the crew members were receiving treatment in local hospitals, while others with mild or no symptoms had been placed in isolation on the vessel, according to an earlier report.

The destroyer was on an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia and around the Strait of Hormuz, the report said. South Korea has sent two multirole aerial tankers to the waters off Africa to bring back all the crew.


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